There are so many chocolate chip recipes out there, how do we know which ones are the best? I guess you don’t really know until you’ve tried them. It took me quite some trial and error to find a good recipe for thick, soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies. And I think I’ve finally hit the jackpot with the Jacques Torres recipe which caused quite a stir after it was published by the New York Times a few years ago.
The key difference of this recipe compared to other chocolate chip cookie recipes is the cake flour and the bread flour used (which contributes to the soft and chewy texture) and the refrigeration of the dough (for the thickness). I always look for recipes that use brown sugar, because brown sugar makes the cookie moister and chewier and about half the sugar used in this recipe is brown sugar.
Different people have different preferences when it comes to their ideal cookie. Some like it crispier while some like it chewier, some like it thinner while some like it thicker, and whichever recipe works for you really depends on your perfect type of cookie. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to make your perfect cookies. I found an article in the Jan 2014 issue of Fine Cooking magazine that helps you troubleshoot the problems with your cookie recipe, scroll to the end of this post to find the chart.
If you prefer soft and chewy cookies, I highly recommend the following recipe. I’ve even gotten feedback that it tastes a bit like Mrs. Fields cookies!
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie
Yields 16 5 1/2″ cookies (or 32 smaller cookies)
Adapted from Jacques Torres
2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour*
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
560g bittersweet chocolate chips
sea salt for sprinkling
Sift the cake flour, bread flour, baking soda and baking powder into a large bowl.
Using a mixture, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together until very light (about 5 minutes in a different large bowl). Then add the eggs one at a time and mixed well. Stir in the vanilla. On low speed add the dry ingredients and continue to mix until combined, about 10 seconds.
Add 3/4 of the chocolate chips (reserve the remaining to be used before baking) into the mixture and mix with a spatula. Then wrap the bowl in plastic wrap, by pressing the plastic wrap against the dough so that there is no air between the dough and the wrap. Then refrigerate the dough for 24 to 36 hours (can be refrigerated up to 72 hours).
After the refrigeration, preheat the oven to 177°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Using an ice cream spoon, scoop the dough into 3″ diameter balls (for 32 smaller cookies), using your hands to form the ball. Add a few chocolate chips to the top of the dough with the flat side facing outwards; this makes the cookie look more attractive. Place the dough onto the baking tray and repeat until the tray
is full, spacing the dough roughly 3″ apart.
Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft inside, about 12-14 minutes for smaller cookies or 18-20 minutes for the larger ones. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool down.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
*You can make your own cake flour with plain flour and some cornstarch. I did for this recipe and it worked out great.
**Be sure to use bittersweet chocolate chips, as this recipe yields a sweet dough. I made the mistake of using half semi-sweet chocolate and half bittersweet.
|Cookie Problem||Possible Causes||Suggested Fixes|
|Too thin||Too much fat||Reduce butter by 10%
Replace butter with shortening
|Too much white sugar||Substitute half the white sugar with brown sugar|
|Too thick||Too much flour||Reduce flour by 15% or and 10% more butter|
|Not enough sugar||Increase sugar or substitute half the brown sugar with white sugar|
|Too crisp||Too much flour||Reduce flour by 15%|
|Too much fat||Reduce butter by 10%
Replace butter with shortening
|Too much white sugar||Substitute light brown sugar for half of the white sugar|
|Too soft||Too little flour||Increase flour by 15%|
|Too crumbly||Too little gluten||Use higher protein flour such as unbleached all-purpose flour or 5% bread flour|
|Too chewy||Too little fat||Increase butter by 10%|
|Too little white sugar||Increase sugar by 10% or if using brown sugar substitute half the brown sugar with white sugar|
|Too much gluten||Use lower-protein flour such as cake or pastry flour
Mix fat (butter), flour and sugar before adding the egg
Mix dough for less time
|Too dense||Too much flour||Reduce flour by 15%|
|Under-aerated||Add more baking powder
Replace dated baking powder
|Too puffy||Too little sugar||Increase sugar by 10% or if using brown sugar substitute half the brown sugar with white sugar|
|Too little flour||Increase flour by 15%|
|Wrong fat||Use butter instead of shortening|
|Over-aerated||Omit baking powder|
|Dough too cold||Let ingredients or dough to stand at room temperature before baking|
|Too browned||Too much sugar||Reduce white sugar by 10%|
|Too much baking soda||Reduce baking soda by half|
|Too pale||Too little sugar||Increase sugar by 10%
Replace 1 to 2 tbsp sugar with corn syrup
|Tastes bland||Too little salt||Increase salt by 5%|
|Too little sugar||Increase sugar by 10%|
|Not enough butter||Replace shortening with butter|
|Too little flavoring||Increase vanilla, spices or other flavoring by 5%|